Gastropod grief

It started a little over a year ago. Every few days, I would wake up and there would be faint, shimmering lines on the carpet in my bedroom – always along the path of my laptop’s power cord. My first thought was that maybe there had been an electromagnetic something-or-other that interacted with the man-made fibres in the carpets. I didn’t really give it much thought, especially as it wasn’t a daily occurrence.

Over time, the lines became more regular and began to veer far from any power cords. And then the regularity increased more and more, and the gleaming trails could be found most days. By then, I had determined (by guessing, really) that it must be snails or slugs. And I figured they must be getting in through a wee crack around the floorboards.

But I never saw the line-makers.

And soon, the busy work of these gastropods meant that there were trails all over my bedroom, and they were even starting to make their way into the hallway.

And worse, they were eating my to-do lists, magazines, and other paper items on the wee table by the couch in my room.

Certainly, I thought, there must be several of them.

I searched online to find ways to rid houses of snails and slugs, but nothing was practical. I tried a dehumidifier in my room for several days, but it didn’t make a difference. I even prayed to God to just make the beasts go away, but He has better and more important things to do, I know.

Finally, I realised that I was going to have to spend some time over the Christmas holidays removing everything from my room so that I could scour the place for the slug (or snail) nest that I was certain must exist. (Sadly, I knew this would be near-ish the window and my bed!)

But then a miracle happened! I woke up before the sun had risen and turned on my bedroom light. And as I sat on the edge of the bed, I looked down and noticed a slug. A four-and-a-half-inch, slightly yellowy-brown, slimy-looking slug.

Despite the slug’s slow crawl, I jumped up quickly before he ran away… just in case, he decided to sprint or something. (I know I had the upper hand, but I didn’t want to get cocky as I’ve heard all about the tortoise and the hare!)

I grabbed the nearest thing I could find, the latest issue of What’s Brewing (my monthly beer newspaper; oh, the irony!), and coaxed the slug onto the pages. I then (carefully) walked through the house to deposit the little big guy in the far corner of the garden.

And then I prayed and hoped and prayed some more that he was the only one. I wished and prayed and wished some more than the reason the glittery trails were increasing was that this one, solitary slug was just getting bigger and bigger.

And I think my prayers have been answered.

I haven’t had any slug trails (or half-eaten to-do lists) since the eviction, nor have I seen any other evidence of icky outdoor creatures living in my bedroom.

I am being very careful to make sure no little bugs or slugs are hiding on the soles of my boots when I come home each day. And I’m trying not to imagine how close the slug may have come to slithering across my face as I slept at night.

But mostly, if I’m honest, I’m just pleased that my to-do lists are safe once again. (Not that I read them once I write them out. But still…)

[Note: Keen Just Frances readers might recall that I’ve spoken about gastropods before. More than once before. It’s not an obsession, but they are kind of cool.]

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